Several of the 12 “dark side” traits – such as those associated with narcissism, being overly dramatic, being critical of others and being extremely focused on complying with rules – actually had a positive effect on a number of facets of the cadets’ leadership development over time.
“By themselves, these subclinical traits had fairly small effects, but when aggregated, they played a substantial role in determining which cadets developed leadership skills,” Harms said.
“Assumptions about how these traits affected performance and development were mistaken … it appears that even negative characteristics can be adaptive in particular settings or job roles.”
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